Getting Started With Codeception in Laravel 4

BDD or behavioral driven development has become very popular these days and everybody talks about it. Our goal here is to make you familiar with a testing framework called Codeception which is the best and certainly the simplest one out there and it also has a Laravel4 module to easily get started with testing your Laravel applications.

First lets explain how to install codeception and put it in use with Laravel 4.

We will cover how to install codeception globally. Lets assume you are running a unix based system (if you are not you should really consider running a virtual machine under Vagrant).

What you want to do is to download it first


after we downloaded it we move it to our bin folder so its globally accessible.

mv codecept.phar /usr/local/bin/codecept

and we make it executable

chmod +x /usr/local/bin/codecept

If you run windows you can download codeception to a folder that is added to your execution path. Than you create a file called codecept.bat and add to it

php "%~dp0codecept.phar" %*

This was the easiest part. Lets see if it runs correctly by typing


If it runs correctly you will see the version and usage instructions.

Lets go to our project root file. There we'll run

codecept bootstrap app

This will create all of the needed files and put the into app/tests folder

Since we are running codeception from the root of our project we will have to move codeception.yml there. Of course the paths need to be updated so our file will look like this

    tests: app/tests
    log: app/tests/_log
    data: app/tests/_data
    helpers: app/tests/_helpers
    bootstrap: _bootstrap.php
    suite_class: \PHPUnit_Framework_TestSuite
    colors: false
    memory_limit: 1024M
    log: true
            dsn: ''
            user: ''
            password: ''
            dump: app/tests/_data/dump.sql

Now if you run codecept run you will get a mesaage No tests executed! which means that we have set everything up correctly. The only thing left is writing our tests :)

Some of you could get a date.timezone error which is easy to fix by updating your php.ini file and setting something like date.timezone = 'Europe/Berlin'. Note that you need to update you php.ini file responsible for the CLI.

Lets write our first acceptance test. We will test if we can sign in to our application. It's good to know that codecption supports three test formats, scenario-based Cept format, PHPUnit test format and hybrid scenario-unit Cest format. As a starting point we'll be using the Cept format. Back to our acceptance test. We will generate the required file using the command

codecept generate:cept acceptance Signin

This will generate a file called SigninCept.php located in app/tests/acceptance/ folder It will look like this

    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);
    $I->wantTo('log in as regular user');
    $I->see('logout', 'a');

If we run codecept run we'll see that the test passes. Here you can see a couple of tests including Login test successfully passed.

Don't forget to modify app/tests/acceptance.suite.yml. The PHPBrowser needs to match your application url.

This tutorial is the first one in a series about testing with Codeception. Next tutorial will deal with interacting with a database.

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